Friday, 26 February 2016

Creative Legacy

I`m the family historian in my family - for both sides. I`ve always been interested in my family history and would pester my grandparents for information. I`ve been researching my family history for about 15 years now and have done very well. My Mom`s side has gone much better than my Dad`s - for a variety of reasons, but that mostly involve more accurate records in Germany.

About a year ago or so I discovered, through the research of someone else, that my great great great grandmother, Maria Beck Warning, had made hooked rugs that the Textile Museum of Canada acquired at some time. I tried to see them when I located them, but the museum doesn`t allow the public access, unless they are on display.

On Feb 7, I went with my parents to see the rugs. On the 6th, I happened to look on the museum`s website, for something else someone told me about, when I stumbled on the fact that there was a hooked rug display on, which closed Feb 8th. One quick call to the museum, and a very helpful volunteer, and I knew that two of Maria`s rugs were on display.

The display was called Home Economics and the rugs were from various places in Canada. Maria`s rug are special in that they are dated (during the 1880s) and they can be attributed to a particular maker. Most rugs didn`t last long because they were made of used materials (clothing) and were used under foot, so they wore out.

These are Maria`s rugs:

The rabbits are dated 1884 and the swan 1885. Both rugs have some wear, so they were used. That`s about all I know about them. One of her daughter`s did marry about this time, but the marriage didn`t work out, so I wonder if they were made for her, then put away later, and that`s why they survived.

It was a thrill to see them - it felt like I can place some of my creative talents on another ancestor. Both my Grandmother`s made things so I see their talents in me, and it was nice to see it farther back.

This is Maria, with her husband. Maria was born 1832 in Germany and died in 1918 in Canada. She came to Canada sometime in the 1850s and married here. She was a Mennonite and lived in Perth county where she farmed with her husband.

Here are some other photos from the exhibit. Some rugs were very primitive, drawn by the maker, and some were very artistic (they may have been drawn by the maker or purchased). At one time, Eaton`s catalogue sold patterns for them.

This art almost died off. At one time, everyone had these rugs in their home, then along came factory made carpet and linoleum, and the need for these to warm the floors wasn`t a big. Hooked rugs were also seen as a sign of poverty and mother`s wouldn`t teach their daughters how to do it and forbid the making of them.

There are now some hooked rug guilds - I might try one. I met some women at the exhibit younger than me who are rug hookers and they were very encouraging. Luckily for us, people like the Textile Museum of Canada saw the need to preserve this artwork so that we can still enjoy it.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Snowman Update

My Under the Stars quilt is basted and I`ve started quilting. It`s going fine, but I`m not enjoying the quilting as much as I did on the last quilt I made. I think it`s because this one is really thick, with a flannel top and bottom and it doesn`t slide very easily under my presser foot. I get a bit of puckering, even using the walking foot.  It`s coming along though, so no complaints.

Right now I`m doing sid in the squares. I leave a big box around the star blocks and will stitch around the stars.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Animal Parade - A Finished Quilt

This quilt is for my youngest niece who is now 6. I started it when she was 2 - I'm a bit slow it seems. K is a darling girl who is happy all the time and often says "today was a perfect day". She wanted animals on her quilt, so that's what she got. Her mom picked out the fabrics. On Canada Day, the year K was 2, I was asking her what animals she wanted on her quilt. She didn't really know. So my Mom, who is not a sewer, started giving her ideas - I would not have attempted some of these animals if it weren't for K wanting them.

Some progress shots of quilting:
This is how I mark my quilts usually - I trace or draw a design on the paper on the doctor's examining table, then sew over it. Then I rip it out. It's a bit tedious at times, but I find it accurate and never have to worry about marks showing.

My binding helper

Still helping with the binding

The Label, v 2.0; the first label had a missing word that I only noticed when I was sewing on binding. I tried fixing it but didn't like how it looked, so I made a new label.

The finished product, with K peeking around the corner.

I really enjoyed making this quilt and I enjoyed quilting it. K loves it and was snuggled under it the first night she got it.
It`s about 48 x 62, my own design.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Snowman Update

There is no snow on the ground here in my part of Ontario. We've had a very mild winter, which has been kind of nice since I don't have to shovel mild weather.

The only snowmen around here are the ones on my design wall. I need to add two borders to this (that's what came in the kit), then get it basted and quilted. I'm still not sure how much I love it, but I am enjoying sewing it.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Slippers Galore

I see several alternative health practitioners. At all of them, in the winter, visitors are asked to remove outside footwear and slippers are provided. I don't mind taking off my boots or dirty shoes, and I really appreciate that slippers are available.

It turns out that at one of the places I go, people started taking the slippers - which were hand knit and warm. This is very bad karma. When I found out about it, I said I could knit some new slippers for the place and the owner and I struck a deal. She wanted slippers for kids, aged 3-10, since those were the sizes that were disappearing.

I found a pattern on for knit slippers for kids. It was simple enough and easy to follow and had a heel flap, which I think makes for a better fit. I figured out what sizes I needed to make and headed to Michael's for some yarn (and there was a sale on).

I bought yarn called Impeccable by Loops & Threads; it's 100% acrylic with a nice texture. I choose this yarn because (honestly) it was on sale as buy 1, get 1 (total cost for materials: $7.49 and I have lots left over), they had colours I liked, it was soft and not scratchy, there was more yardage per skein than a comparable brand, and it would wear well and be easy to wash and dry (because it's acrylic).

In total, I made 8 pair. Here are the smallest 4 - I forgot to get a photo of the other 4.

The red ones are about 4" long, and the turquoise 7-8" long. I think they were a hit because the receptionist, who has small feet, kept a pair aside for her to wear while at work.

The slippers stretch a lot, so if I was making them again, I'd go down a size maybe for a snugger fit.
Anybody who saw them said their grandma/aunt/mom made the same kind - if they've been around that long, the pattern is sound.